Most people choose a funeral director to make the funeral arrangements on their behalf.
Their services usually provide:
- 24 hour service
- private chapel of rest
- pre-paid and pre-arranged funerals
- choice of coffins and furnishings
- special services, e.g. provision of horse-drawn hearse
- hearse and matching cars
The funeral director will:
- collect the body from the home/mortuary
- meet, by appointment, the executor or person arranging the funeral and discuss funeral arrangements
- talk with the cemetery and crematorium office to arrange the cremation or burial service
- arrange the attendance of a minister or other officiant and organist if needed
- make the necessary payments on your behalf, to include cemetery or crematorium fees, doctors fees, ministers fees and organists fees
- make sure all official documents are completed and delivered
- transport the coffin and any flowers to the crematorium or cemetery
You can also ask for the funeral director to:
- prepare the body for viewing (may involve embalming and/or cosmetic treatment)
- arrange for the publication of obituaries
- provide floral tributes
- organise a collection for a named charity
- following cremation, remove the cremated remains from the crematorium on your behalf, to their chapel of rest, pending a decision on their final resting place
- arrange a private burial of the cremated remains at a cemetery or churchyard of your choice
But you can also choose to:
- use your own vehicles to meet the hearse at the church or crematorium
- use your own pallbearers
- ask for jewellery to be worn by the deceased
- have a religious or non-religious service
- have an organist, use the crematoriums music system, or both
- have an audio and DVD recording of the service
- have the webcam facility to enable family and friends who may not be able to attend the service to watch it live
Their fees can vary so you may wish to contact more than one for a quote.
They are usually members of one of two trade associations:
- National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD)
- National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF)
They will need the Disposal Certificate for Burial or Cremation issued by the registrar or the Certificate of Cremation issued by the coroner.
Their bill should clearly list everything that has been paid on your behalf.
If you are not satisfied with their services or the prices charged, please contact the Citizens Advice Bureau.
If the funeral director is a member of the NAFD or SAIF you can also contact them.